By STEVE KARNOWSKIAssociated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - General Mills has announced a deal that will create South Dakota's largest organic crop farm as the food giant works to secure enough organic ingredients to meet consumer demand.
The farm will produce organic wheat for General Mills' Annie's Macaroni & Cheese line, based in Berkeley, California.
Gunsmoke Farms will convert 34,000 acres west of Pierre to organic by 2020. In turn, Golden Valley, Minnesota-based General Mills guarantees a market for the wheat.
General Mills is partnering with Madison, Wisconsin-based Midwestern BioAg to develop the crop rotation and soil-building program needed for such a large farm to go organic.
General Mills has some of the food industry's most ambitious environmental goals. It's seeking to double its organic acreage by 2020, and to cut greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2025.
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